There is a sign above my front door that reads “Welcome to the Zoo”…that is often an acurate description of our household. Except for the constant mess, I love it that way!
Joshua had his 12th birthday a week ago. After he opened his presents, he had a small rectangular box one of his gifts came in. Like all good 12 year old boys, he knew just what to do with it…he handed it to Jessica (our 4 year old) and said, “Here’s a coffin for your Barbie” (only 12 year old boys think of great uses for boxes like that). Jessica was thrilled to have the box so she quickly said “Thank you.” Then with out missing a beat, she opened the box and “coughed” in it. I don’t think she quite understood the coffin remark, so she just made it fit what she thought it meant. We all cried, we laughed so hard. Jessica thought this was great, so she spent the rest of the night “coughing” in her box.
Speaking of Jessica, she has officially changed her last name. She told me that she should now be called Jessica Teenager. For several days now, if you address her as Jessica she corrects you and says, “You mean Jessica Teenager.” I’m not quite ready for Jessica Teenager yet…or maybe ever.
We bought a Keurig machine and we LOVE it. We bought the basic B40 model since I didn’t want to spend an extra $30 on a digital display. It’s so easy to use and NO mess. We do find ourselves making more coffee though.
Donald bought the kids ROCK BAND for PS2 last night. We finally broke down and got it…our kids were so thrilled UNTIL they tried to play it. Suddenly our PS2 isn’t reading discs anymore. It was fine when the kids used it earlier that day, but now it’s broken. Donald and the kids spent several hours trying to fix it, but it’s still broken. My poor kids, they were so disappointed.
Donald takes his test for Master Sgt. today. He’s been studying so hard. Yesterday he had the day off work to study one last day. After several hours, he decided he just needed to relax. He and I went out for a nice quiet Chinese dinner. After dinner, we both opened our fortune cookies. Donald’s fortune read “You are next in line for promotion at your firm.” We almost died…how funny is that! We had a good laugh.
Emily turned 17! I can’t believe my daughter is seventeen. She had a friend over. They went ice skating and to the Marine Corps Museum. We had Chinese take-out for dinner. She got texting back on her cell phone…she’s happy about that. I think she had a fun day.
Never a dull moment at our house. I’m so glad that along with all the daily drudge (housework, cooking, planning, etc) that my husband and my kids help me laugh at least once every day. What a joy!
I recently read Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers for our book club at church. It was a good read, but I didn’t enjoy it as much as the other book we read, Thorn in My Heart (see blog below).
I did take time to read the book of Hosea for insight before reading Redeeming Love. Hosea is not one of those books you study often, so it was definitely good to take a deeper look. I was struck by the passion the Lord displays for His people in Hosea 11:1-11. You can’t read it without sensing the anguish of a loving parent as they watch their wayward child.
I led them with cords of human kindness, with ties of love; I lifted the yoke from their neck and bent down to feed them. Hosea 11:4
God’s love for us is AMAZING and beyond comprehension. Yet, we stray. Why? How can we run from such love?
I am so thankful that God is such a compassionate and forgiving God!
I will not carry out my fierce anger, nor will I turn and devastate Ephraim. For I am God, and not man–the Holy One among you. I will not come in wrath. Hosea 11:9
Just like the story of the lost sheep (see Luke 15:1-7) and the lost coin (see Luke 15:8-10), God is actively seeking His lost children. And as in the prodigal son (see Luke 15:11-32), God has open arms for us when we come to Him.
The LORD is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love. Psalm 103:8
Our God is an awsome God!
First, he schemes to get his brother’s birthright.
One day when Jacob was cooking some stew, Esau arrived home from the wilderness exhausted and hungry. Esau said to Jacob, “I’m starved! Give me some of that red stew!” (This is how Esau got his other name, Edom, which means “red.”)
“All right,” Jacob replied, “but trade me your rights as the firstborn son.”
“Look, I’m dying of starvation!” said Esau. “What good is my birthright to me now?”
But Jacob said, “First you must swear that your birthright is mine.” So Esau swore an oath, thereby selling all his rights as the firstborn to his brother, Jacob. Genesis 25:29-33
How could Jacob take advantage of his brother’s hunger? Why couldn’t he just give his brother a bowl of soup?
Then, Jacob (with the help of his mother, Rebekah) tricks his father into giving him Esau’s blessing too.
But Isaac said, “Your brother was here, and he tricked me. He has taken away your blessing.”
Esau exclaimed, “No wonder his name is Jacob, for now he has cheated me twice. First he took my rights as the firstborn, and now he has stolen my blessing. Genesis 27:35-36
Right after this, Jacob flees for his safety. On his journey, God comes to him in a dream.
As he slept, he dreamed of a stairway that reached from the earth up to heaven. And he saw the angels of God going up and down the stairway.
At the top of the stairway stood the Lord, and he said, “I am the Lord, the God of your grandfather Abraham, and the God of your father, Isaac. The ground you are lying on belongs to you. I am giving it to you and your descendants. Your descendants will be as numerous as the dust of the earth! They will spread out in all directions—to the west and the east, to the north and the south. And all the families of the earth will be blessed through you and your descendants. What’s more, I am with you, and I will protect you wherever you go. One day I will bring you back to this land. I will not leave you until I have finished giving you everything I have promised you.” Genesis 28:12-15
God’s message to Jacob wasn’t one of accusation. He wasn’t answering Jacob’s prayers. God came to him unsolicited. He came to bless Jacob and promise to be with him. WHY?
God had a plan and His plan did not depend on Jacob’s ability to earn His blessing. God’s plan was to bless Jacob and his family. Jacob didn’t receive the blessing through trickery but in spite of it. God would have given Jacob the inheritance and He didn’t need their help. Because Jacob and Rebekah took it instead of waiting for God to give it…it came with sorrow and fear. Jacob had to leave his family and flee his brother’s wrath.
A passage in the New Testament helps answer why God chose to come and bless Jacob.
This son was our ancestor Isaac. When he married Rebekah, she gave birth to twins. But before they were born, before they had done anything good or bad, she received a message from God. (This message shows that God chooses people according to his own purposes; he calls people, but not according to their good or bad works.) She was told, “Your older son will serve your younger son.” In the words of the Scriptures, “I loved Jacob, but I rejected Esau.”
Are we saying, then, that God was unfair? Of course not! For God said to Moses,
“I will show mercy to anyone I choose,
and I will show compassion to anyone I choose.”
So it is God who decides to show mercy. We can neither choose it nor work for it. Romans 9:10-16
This may seem unfair when you first read it, but actually there is good news here. God chooses to bless people despite their actions. Since we all sin, we all deceive, and we are all selfish…we all need God’s mercy.
Do I believe God blesses me and will continue to bless me? Yes! Thank goodness it is from His own choosing and not based on my behavior because I continually fail Him. I will never be good enough to be worthy of His blessings, but I have them anyway.